Updated June 14, 2021
As you read this, know that our hearts go out to you and your loved ones during this unusual and difficult time.
Losing someone dear to us is among the most emotionally charged moments of a person’s life experiences. In this actual context of pandemic, the grieving process is even more complex and difficult to live through because of the necessary restrictions that are being imposed on families. Families find themselves alone, isolated, missing the support of their community, sometimes postponing religious and celebration of life gatherings.
Here is what you need to know regarding the services we are allowed to offer during this period of confinement:
- The Public Health Department and the Ministry of Health and Social Services have confirmed that currently funeral rituals can take place in funeral homes, churches, religious institutions, cemeteries and crematoriums, as they are recognized as essential services.
- Montreal is in yellow zone as of June 14, 2021. https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/confinement-in-quebec/
- A maximum of 50 people at the same time in a room, with rotation (excluding staff and volunteers) can participate to a gathering or funeral service, indoor or outdoor. 2m social distancing must be applied at all times. Medicinal masks are mandatory while indoor or outdoor. https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/progressive-regional-alert-and-intervention-system/map-of-covid-19-alert-levels-by-region
- Food and alcoholic beverage services can be served, following specific seating and serving protocols.
- It is mandatory to keep your masks on at all times, indoor or outdoor for funeral related gatherings, except when sitting down to eat and drink.
- For deceased persons who have died without COVID-19, all rituals are permitted for family and guests.
- On May 17, 2021 the Department of Public Health has confirmed that all rituals are now permitted for a person who died from COVID-19, confirmed or potential, allowing funeral professionals to perform washing, disinfecting, embalming, dressing, cosmetizing and hairdressing of the deceased person.
- The deceased person can be laid out, open or closed casket, in our funeral home, in churches or other religious institutions that authorize visitation.
- It is possible to have a service or perform other rituals in our funeral home, in some churches, religious institutions, or at the cemetery.
- All methods of disposition are authorized: ground burial, cremation, bio-cremation (aquamation) and crypt entombment.
- We offer live stream services for the rituals to be available for those who cannot attend the gathering. Music, special readings, sharing stories remain possible to bring us closure even when distancing is required.
- Gatherings can be planned for current events or those at a later date.
- We have to impose the ban of access from visitors who have travelled, those who have symptoms, are in isolation, or have been in close contact with a Covid-19 carrier or patient.
- We are serving one family at a time. Preventative instructions are implemented at our funeral facilities. We ask visitors to wash their hands upon arrival and departure. Our facilities are constantly being disinfected to limit the propagation of the disease.
- Most cemeteries are imposing a limit of people at the gravesite, including the funeral director, pallbearers, clergy and family members. For indoor crypt and niche burial, the access is limited as well. Every cemetery has their own restrictions and protocols. Pallbearers must wear masks and gloves. Masks are mandatory for indoor mausoleum and columbarium.
- The witness of the initial cremation process is allowed based on the crematorium availability.
- Church or other religious institutions funeral services are permitted. Protocols vary from church to church. Most community halls remain closed. A limit of 50 people can participate to a church funeral service.
- Limousine service is available for up to 6 passengers. A plexiglass has been installed in the limousine to maintain the social distancing with the driver. Masks are mandatory for passengers. The limousines are disinfected after each use.
- We are available to meet you in person by appointment only with up to 3 family members. We also encourage funeral planning at the time of death or in pre-planning to be done by teleconference or by telephone.
- In order to prevent contamination of our staff members and other clients, we impose teleconference or telephone meeting for people who have travelled, have flu symptoms or who have been in contact with a COVID-19 person diagnosed or waiting for results or showing signs of infection.
For us, funeral professionals, this situation is difficult as we want to assist you and allow you to grieve appropriately regardless of all the constraints imposed upon all of us. We are doing everything in our power to stay healthy in order to be able to take care of you and your loved ones. We also want to make sure you will stay healthy and that you don’t put yourself at risk.
We continue our mission of service and to serve our clientele with kindness and compassion. We’re here, for you, during this difficult time as we walk with you on your journey.
For more information and updates from the Public Health Department:
COVID-19: Mesures de prévention et de protection pour les entreprises de services funéraires (INSPQ_2020-03-24) https://www.inspq.qc.ca/publications/2913-mesures-services-funeraires-covid19
For more information and updates regarding gatherings and regulations pertaining to food and beverages services